Action Alert: Whatcom County Parks wants your input!
Many thanks to everyone who made it out for the 2nd Trail meeting for the Lake Whatcom Reconveyance on Wednesday, March 18th. We had another stellar turnout and a packed house…it’s obvious there is a lot of passion for the new park.
IMPORTANT: If you didn’t make it to the meeting (or would like to make additional comments), take 10 minutes to email your feedback to Whatcom County Parks (firstname.lastname@example.org). See below for more info.
In the meeting, Rod Lamb (park planner) showed 3 different trail alternatives (1-3) with 1 providing the least amount of trail mileage and 3 providing the most trail mileage. We then broke out into a commenting period about the alternatives.
The three alternatives provided are guidelines and were intended to create discussion and feedback. As such, they NEED feedback on what they’ve put together so far: specifically, please let them know what you liked, what’s missing and what you’d like to see in the future park. The three Alternative Plans can be found here: http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/625/Lake-Whatcom-Reconveyance
Some potential items to mention to the County:
We support a modified version of Alternative 3 for Stewart and Lookout Mountains that creates the most trail mileage and looks at user-built trails, has better routing options and different trail designations.
Lookout Mountain Alternative 3: http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/DocumentCenter/View/8015
Stewart Mountain alternative 3: http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/DocumentCenter/View/8012
Types of trails:
- We’d like to see a percentage of directional trails for mt. bikes (single use) and for the other user groups where they make sense. When done well, these are absolutely compatible with our goal of protecting the watershed.
- We’d like to see different difficulty levels for the various user groups in the park – from rugged/advanced trails to beginner/family level of trails. There are zero single-use or advanced level mt. bike trails on any of the alternatives that were presented.
- Loops and destinations are preferred. We like to ride/hike to waterfalls, lookouts and interesting geological formations and we also prefer riding loops (when possible) over an out-and-back trail.
- A hiking trail with an “Ascending-only” designation for mt. bikers. This is a relatively new, but successful designation working in other areas (Squamish BC, as an example) and allows mt. bikes to only ride UP a trail. It also means there is one more user group who is willing to build and maintain said trail(s), while eliminating user conflicts. These often work best near trailheads due to the amount of traffic.
- Connectors into Galbraith (this was highlighted in the meeting by Parks already).
- The ability to utilize the trail from the South Lookout Tower across private timber land down to Cain and Squires Lake. An easement would be necessary here, but it’s a must have.
User-built/ Pre-existing Trails:
- This is an obvious hot button with every land manager and trail advocacy group, but whenever possible, looking at the pre-existing trails on a landscape and the ability to bring them into a trail network is a pragmatic approach. Often times, that does mean serious modifications and/or re-alignment of the trail routing. That has worked successfully in many other communities like Sedona, Leavenworth , Moab and Jackson Hole
- So, with that, what pre-existing trails do you currently recreate on and like to see brought into the system? These are not secret to park staff, so name them or mark them on a map and send them with your email.
For more background, here are the public comments from last April’s meeting: